Thursday, July 19, 2007

Writing Success-Parable of the Coins-Part 1

Lets say I have a handful of silver coins that you are very attracted to. I mean, who doesn't need a few more silver coins. So being the very generous person that I am, I say to you, "Here. You can have them." I lay the silver coins in your hand and you walk away with the knowledge that you are so incredibly wonderful, that someone chose you out of every other person in the universe, to give the silver coins to.

But what if I took those same coins and climbed to the top of a ladder and said, "Here. You can have them." Would you climb the ladder to get them? Would you look to see if there is a solid foundation beneath that ladder? Would you check the safety of it's rungs?

What if, instead challenging you with height, I dug a separate hole for each coin and burried it? Would you search for the coins and dig them up? Would you worry about your three-inch-heels getting stuck in the muck? Would you be willing to sacrafice your newly polished manicure? Would all that work be worth it?

OK, then what about this; what if I held those coins in my hand as you walked closer and closer to me. But when you were within reach, I tossed them into the air. Would you chase after them? Would you look around first to see who might be watching you? Would you go after the ones that were easy to get or would you also go for those that weren't?

Freelancing is difficult. Sometimes assignments are easy and handed to you. Other times, you have to look and work for them. But the harder you try and the more obstacles you hurdle, the sweeter the success. What are you willing to do to see your name in print?

Next post- I'll tell you how this story relates to my most recent success.



Nita said...

I wondered where you were going with that. I like cause I know how you've climbed ladders, dug in the holes, and chased the 'coins' that were tossed. Great minds must truly think alike, it's very much like an analogy my husband used to use with our kids.

Jennifer said...

Nice story. The surprise ending was actually a surprise. The whole time I wondered what was up. Good one. And if the coins were chocolate covered silver I'd likely do most anything. Now I'm off to do that sleep thing again. Night.

John Elder Robison said...

In the first instance I would decline the coins because I would not understand what you might expect of me in return, and I would therefore hesitate to accept anything like that.

In the following instances, I would conclude you were playing some kind of game whose rules were unknowable to me, but which I would decline to play.

So in the first example, I'd say, "no thanks" and in the other examples I'd just watch with curiousity.

Karen L. Alaniz said...

Hey- This is a record-number of responders for me. Thanks guys!

Now go get those coins!